Hobbies on a Budget: Easy ways you can work to improve your day

By Sharon Williams

Contributing columnist

Can we all agree that life is sometimes tough?  It seems like every time you open social media, answer the phone or talk to a coworker, there’s more bad news. So today, instead of focusing on the issues that we all face, let’s find five easy ways to improve your day.

I do not claim that these tips will take away the pain, heal your broken heart or make you a millionaire.  But what I do guarantee is that if you incorporate some of these tips into your life, your day may seem a bit better.  If you have seen the movie “Mary Poppins,” then you know that sometimes you need a spoonful of sugar. So consider these five tips a little spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

Send an encouraging message: The other night I took five minutes and sent my friend a private message on Facebook. I simply said: “Hi friend, I just wanted to tell you thanks for being my friend for so many years. I hope you’re having a good evening.” Her response was instant. Things in her life are much harder than I suspected. It meant so much for me just to take 30 seconds to send her a personal note

Don’t get this confused with a public message. It’s not the same when you copy/paste a public status that says everyone should tell you five good things, or everyone say something nice. Those messages often come across as very forced or contrived. But a personal Facebook message, text or voicemail can make a world of difference in someone’s life.

Send a card: When is the last time you wrote someone a card just to say have a good day? I recently picked up some pretty cards and  have tried to remember to put a handwritten card in the mail at least once a week. There’s just something about opening the mailbox and getting a random note from a friend to improve both peoples day.

Buy a coffee: One of the best cups of hot chocolate I ever purchased was when my kids were very little on a cold snowy school day. The teacher who was monitoring the car line was freezing cold and said she sure wished she had a cup of hot chocolate. So instead of ignoring her simple comment, after we dropped off my kindergartner, my other two children and I ran to the gas station and picked up a hot cup of cocoa. We circle back through the line and handed it to her. The look of  on her face was priceless. It cost me 10 minutes and less than a dollar but made a huge difference in both of our lives that day.

Watch the butterflies: A friend of mine recently shared a picture that her young niece colored for her. The little girl knew that Jenn was missing the sunshine, spring weather and beautiful butterflies. So she sent a hand colored picture of a butterfly and instructed her to tape it on the window. That way when she was looking outside at the gray rainy days she would see butterflies. If you don’t have butterflies out your window, then make your own!

Find pretty flowers. Right now we have a bunch of daffodils in bloom in our backyard. Although I love seeing them bloom out in the yard, I love even more having a vase of cheery daffodils on my kitchen counter. Take a few minutes and go get some flowers in your yard or stop at the grocery store and buy a few from the floral department.

What are some ways you are working to improve your life today?  I’d love to hear!

For more ideas for how to improve your day, check out Hobbies on a Budget where I I‘m sharing more simple ideas for hobbies and life!  (www.hobbiesonabudget.com)